Beyond Point-and-Shoot Morality: Why Cognitive (Neuro)Science Matters for Ethics

Ethics 124 (4):695-726 (2014)
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In this article I explain why cognitive science (including some neuroscience) matters for normative ethics. First, I describe the dual-process theory of moral judgment and briefly summarize the evidence supporting it. Next I describe related experimental research examining influences on intuitive moral judgment. I then describe two ways in which research along these lines can have implications for ethics. I argue that a deeper understanding of moral psychology favors certain forms of consequentialism over other classes of normative moral theory. I close with some brief remarks concerning the bright future of ethics as an interdisciplinary enterprise



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Joshua D. Greene
Harvard University